This is the advice from South Tyneside health chiefs as face masks become mandatory in shops

A South Tyneside health chief has issued guidance for residents as face coverings become mandatory in shops from Friday, July 24.

It follows guidance requiring people to wear face masks on public transport which came into force last month.

The rule also applies to sandwich shops and takeaways, but people will be allowed to remove their mask if they sit down to eat or drink.

Face masks are mandatory in shops and supermarkets from Friday, July 24.

Now, as the measures are introduced, Director of Public Health for South Tyneside, Tom Hall has issued advice for residents on how to use a face covering correctly and urged people to comply to ‘protect yourself and others’.

In a statement on the South Tyneside Council Facebook page, he said: “Coronavirus is spread through droplets from coughs, sneezes and speaking, so wearing a covering can help reduce transmission.

“These droplets can be picked up on other surfaces though, so if you do touch another surface, you must wash or sanitise your hands before touching your face.

“The best available scientific evidence is that when used correctly, a face covering may reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets. But it's still important to do the other things as well like social distancing and regularly washing our hands.

“Face coverings should cover your nose and mouth while still allowing you to breathe comfortably, and it should fit comfortably but securely against the side of your face. You should wash your hands, or use hand sanitiser before you take off your face covering or before you put it on.

“Avoid touching the front of the face covering and dispose of it properly after use. Or if it's reusable wash it in line with the manufacturer's recommendations or at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric use.”

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He continued: “Some people are exempt from wearing face masks. So please be mindful and respectful and some people are less able to wear face coverings. Examples include younger children in particular, people with a physical or mental difficulty that might make it difficult for them to use a face covering.

“It's not compulsory a shop or supermarket staff to wear a face covering, although they are recommended when other measures are in place. When a staff member is not in close proximity to customers, or whether screens or visors in use, wearing a face covering will not necessarily be required.

“If you want to make your own face covering and instructions are widely available online. Evidence is emerging that the transmission may be reduced by using thicker fabrics, or multiple layers. However, the face coverings should still be breathable, the more advice, visit the www.gov uk website.

“Please wear face coverings. Protect yourself and others, maintain social distance and wash your hands, regularly. By doing this we can continue to control the virus and save lives.”

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